Artificial Intelligence and the impact on Human Resources.

As an Employer and Business owner you now will be well aware of the term AI which is short for Artificial Intelligence.

AI has been widely acclaimed to be a revolution to the workplace in a variety of ways, including helping HR professionals make all sorts of difficult decisions – from who to hire, to who should be made redundant at the conclusion of a redundancy process.

The use of AI can save time, improve efficiency and productivity, but does it really mean that you can replace the human workforce and still receive an accurate, objective and unbiased approach?

My blog this month approaches the implications of Artificial Intelligence for managing and handling Human Resources matters within the workplace.

What are the Implications for the use of AI in the HR Sector?

There are many positives for the use of Artificial Intelligence within the HR remit, none other than relieving repetitive, time-consuming tasks by helping to draft emails, summarise meeting notes and translate documents quickly. However, AI isn’t always as intelligent as its name suggests as it can in fact produce bias when making vital decisions on the human element within the business.

Artificial Intelligence & Discrimination

Discrimination law is an area of HR which as AI is used more and more it has been the start of an increase in employment tribunal claims about whether decisions taken by AI are fairly applied to workers.

One prominent case, we can look at is the current Manjang v Uber case which is currently being considered at Employment Tribunal. Although not a UK based organisation, it has an important message to send to the wider world, in that can AI be ultimately relied upon to produce the right result in such cases?

While Manjang’s case is yet to be decided, it highlights the care that needs to be taken when making AI-assisted decisions about staff.

GDPR rights for employees

UK GDPR law gives employees the right not to be subject to solely automated decisions if the decision would have a legal or ‘similarly significant’ effect on them.

For decisions commonly taken by a human being working in the HR field, that would cover (for example) decisions about hiring, pay, bonuses, disciplinary sanctions and termination of employment. In those cases, a human must review any AI decision before it is applied and have the ability to change it.

That means that even as AI becomes ever more prominent, the vital areas that HR delivers to employees such as protecting their personal information and ensuring sound decisions are being made, will need to be carefully considered before implementing an AI approach.

You many have heard of or had experience of ChatGPT, the popular generative Artificial Intelligence platform with more than 100 million active monthly users. This tool / facility was built off huge amounts of data input, which means that anyone who contributed to the data training process is possibly vulnerable. The data that is now stored by ChatGPT will be forever stored and therefore could also be processed and used for their benefit. The programme is still currently within its free information collection phase, meaning companies that choose to avail of its services are placing their data at risk.

The question a business or organisation may wish to ask is whether they would prefer to have an automated system that effectively stores and uses personal data with no apparent regard to ethically processed procedures?

Artificial Intelligence and decision making for your workforce.

Some of the types of decisions currently being made by AI are:

Profiling: using algorithms to categorise data and find correlations between data sets. This can be used to make predictions about individuals; for example, by collecting data on employees to predict and/or conclude they are not meeting targets, potentially leading to capability proceedings or dismissals.

Automated decision-making (ADM): where AI is used to make a decision, without human intervention. For example, where a job candidate is required to undertake a personality questionnaire as part of a recruitment process and is automatically rejected on the basis of their scoring.

Machine learning: where machines are taught, using algorithms, to imitate intelligent human behaviour. For example, image recognition, which can be used in assessing candidates’ performance in video interviews.

Although AI can be a precision-made tool to make accurate decisions on some HR related processes; ask yourself these questions…

  1. Would you like to have had a technological based decision made about you or your workforce?
  2. Would you be happy if the end result would be dismissal and your
  3. How would you feel if all of the variables hadn’t or couldn’t be considered by your AI automated workflow tool?

The risks of AI being used to make decisions can come from a variety of different areas including giving rise to more Union based conflict. This article from the BBC puts the TUC’s claim to the Government around unrealistic targets being set and also how does it account for a humanistic review?

Final thoughts?

In view of the successes of many AI platforms to succeed in business the main advice you can take from this is to ensure that you partner with your HR service provider to personalise your approach to implementing AI.

There won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to successfully managing the move towards integrating greater levels of technology into a company’s daily routine, however taking the time to discuss and implement a personalised approach will be key to determining if AI will be beneficial to your organisation in the long run, or if it is a flight of fancy that is simply not worth the investment.

Whether the technology used is sophisticated or straightforward, employers must ensure that a human manager always has the final responsibility for any workplace decision.

For a discussion around Artificial Intelligence and how it may impact your workforce please get in touch!


Related Posts

Your Restrictive Covenants are Unenforceable

Your Restrictive Covenants are Unenforceable!

Your Restrictive Covenants are Unenforceable Your business may be at risk if your restrictive covenants are unenforceable. The Government consultation in respect of restrictive covenants (non-compete clauses) in employment contracts…
Read More
Automatically Unfair Dismissal

Automatically Unfair Dismissal

Tuesday’s Teaser If I asked you what the following have in common, would you know? Asserting a statutory right Raising a grievance Exercising the right to be accompanied at a formal…
Read More